My life has been full of adventure spanning four decades that saw me involved in practically every major conﬂict on this earth in one form or another. First Into Action is about my formative years working with the SBS, SAS and British Military Intelligence. My Stratton and Gunnymede novels are based on my further adventures in Civvy Street over the past 20 years. On My Books page I have included the inspiration behind each of my novels.
Do you have tips for keeping sane during lockdown?
my current most popular question!
Isolation for the corona virus is clearly not the same as being imprisoned but the principles of how to manage the psychological challenges are the same. So in response to questions on strategy in these strange times we find ourselves in, take a look at the Covid-19 Isolation and sanity management post for tips used by kidnap victims and prisoners of war.
What type of person makes it into SF?
Did your underprivileged upbringing have an impact on your resilience?
What are the biggest dangers to be aware of in conflict zones?
The biggest danger with conflict zones is knowing where the danger lies of course. In battles, such as in Libya 2011, the trick was knowing where the front line was. It could move very quickly, and in any direction. One can quickly find oneself at the very front, in no man’s land, or on the other side. In other conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s been about knowing where the danger spots are, or how to move around, what to look like and where not to pause.
Your autobiography is full of humour - why, when the job was so serious?
How much of Stratton is based on you?
Do you write your own books or do you have a ghost writer?
Why do we have to wait so long for each book?
Well, the most enjoyable part of the process is coming up with an idea, testing it out and getting to the end of a 1st draft, it is also the hardest part! But then comes polish number 1 which will take about a month. Then polish 2 which should take a bit less than a month. Then I send it to the editor. The editor will take a month or 2. When I get it back I will edit the edit. Then comes the 2nd edit. If that goes well – there can be a 3rd edit. After that it will go to typeset, then re-checked…